A Muslim Describes the Conquest of Spain
IBN ABD-EL-HAKEM, The Conquest of Spain (ca. 870)
Ibn Abd-el-Hakem, an Egyptian from a prominent family of legal scholars, wrote his
history of the conquest of Spain more than a century after the actual events. As the
oldest of such histories written by an Islamic scholar, it was frequently cited by later
Muslim historians. The events he describes are a combination of myth and fact. In the
following excerpt, he discusses the events that led to the defeat of Roderic, a Visigothic
king, by Tarik ibn Ziyad, the Muslim commander who led the conquest of Visigothic
Spain. After the conquest, the Muslims in Spain â€” the land they called al-Andalus â€”
built a kingdom known as a center of culture and the arts that lasted for centuries. As
you read the excerpt, consider how distrust and misunderstanding shaped interactions
between Muslims and Visigoths. The governor of the straits between this district
[Tangiers] and Andalus was a foreigner called Ilyan, Lord of Septa. He was also the
governor of a town called Alchadra, situated on the same side of the straits of Andalus
as Tangiers. Ilyan was a subject of Roderic, the Lord of Andalus [i.e., king of Spain],
who used to reside in Toledo. Tarik put himself in communication with Ilyan, and treated
him kindly, until they made peace with each other. Ilyan had sent one of his daughters to
Roderic, the Lord of Andalus, for her improvement and education; but she became
pregnant by him. Ilyan having heard of this, said, I see for him no other punishment or
recompense, than that I should bring the Arabs against him. He sent to Tarik, saying, I
will bring you to Andalusâ€¦. But Tarik said I cannot trust you until you send me a
hostage. So he sent his two daughters, having no other children. Tarik allowed them to
remain in Tlemsen, guarding them closely. After that Tarik went to Ilyan who was in
Septa on the straits. The latter rejoicing at his coming, said, I will bring you to Andalus.
But there was a mountain called the mountain of Tarik between the two landing-places,
that is, between Septa and Andalus. When the evening came, Ilyan brought him the
vessels, in which he made him embark for that landing-place, where he concealed
himself during the day, and in the evening sent back the vessels to bring over the rest of
his companions. So they embarked for the landing-place, none of them being left
behind: whereas the people of Andalus did not observe them, thinking that the vessels
crossing and recrossing were similar to the trading vessels which for their benefit plied
backwards and forwards. Tarik was in the last division which went across. He
proceeded to his companions, Ilyan together with the merchants that were with him
being left behind in Alchadra, in order that he might the better encourage his
companions and countrymen. The news of Tarik and of those who were with him, as
well as of the place where they were, reached the people of Andalus. Tarik, going along
with his companions, marched over a bridge of mountains to a town called
Cartagenaâ€¦. When the Muslims settled [on an island near Andalus], they found no
other inhabitants there, than vinedressers.1 They made them prisoners. After that they
took one of the vinedressers, slaughtered him, cut him in pieces, and boiled him, while
the rest of his companions looked on. They had also boiled meat in other cauldrons.
When the meat was cooked, they threw away the flesh of that man which they had
boiled; no one knowing that it was thrown away: and they ate the meat which they had
boiled, while the rest of the vinedressers were spectators. These did not doubt but that
the Muslims ate the flesh of their companion; the rest being afterwards sent away
informed the people of Andalus that the Muslims feed on human flesh, acquainting them
with what had been done to the vinedresser. When Tarik landed, soldiers from Cordova
came to meet him; and seeing the small number of his companions they despised him
on that account. They then fought. The battle with Tarik was severe. They were routed,
and he did not cease from the slaughter of them till they reached the town of Cordova.
When Roderic heard of this, he came to their rescue from Toledoâ€¦. They fought a
severe battle; but God, mighty and great, killed Roderic and his companions. From Ibn
Abd-el-Hakem, History of the Conquest of Spain, trans. John Harris Jones (Goettingen:
Dietrich, 1858), pp. 18â€“20. Text modernized by Amy R. Caldwell. 1vinedressers: People
who cultivate grapevines.
An Arab Account of the Frankish Defense of
ANONYMOUS ARAB SOURCE, The Battle of
Poitiers (ca. 732)
After the initial conquest of Spain by Muslim forces early in the eighth century, an
expeditionary force continued into Frankish territory and was defeated by Frankish
forces led by Charles Martel. The defeat marked the end of Muslim incursions across
the Pyrenees and allowed the Franks and Martel to build a powerful kingdom, which
peaked under his grandson Charlemagne. There are numerous Catholic accounts of the
battle, but the following is one from an unknown Arab chronicler that provides a
counterpoint to the Christian point of view. This excerpt picks up after a string of Muslim
victories. Abderrahman1 drove them back; and the men of Abderrahman were puffed up
in spirit by their repeated successes, and they were full of trust in the valor and the
practice in war of their emir. So the Moslems smote their enemies, and passed the River
Garonne, and laid waste the country, and took captives without number. And that army
went through all places like a desolating storm. Prosperity made these warriors
insatiable. At the passage of the river, Abderrahman overthrew the count,2 and the
count retired into his stronghold, but the Moslems fought against it, and entered it by
force and slew the count; for everything gave way to their cimeters,3 which were the
robbers of lives. All the nations of the Franks trembled at that terrible army, and they
betook them to their king Caldus,4 and told him of the havoc made by the Moslem
horsemen, and how they rode at their will through all the land of Narbonne, Toulouse,
and Bordeaux, and they told the king of the death of their count. Then the king bade
them be of good cheer, and offered to aid them. And in the 114th year5 he mounted his
horse, and he took with him a host that could not be numbered, and went against the
Moslems. And he came upon them at the great city of Tours. And Abderrahman and
other prudent cavaliers saw the disorder of the Moslem troops, who were loaded with
spoil; but they did not venture to displease the soldiers by ordering them to abandon
every thing except their arms and war-horses. And Abderrahman trusted in the valor of
his soldiers, and in the good fortune which had ever attended him. But such defect of
discipline is always fatal to armies. So Abderrahman and his host attacked Tours to gain
still more spoil, and they fought against it so fiercely that they stormed the city almost
before the eyes of the army that came to save it; and the fury and the cruelty of the
Moslems toward the inhabitants of the city was like the fury and cruelty of raging tigers.
It was manifest that Godâ€™s chastisement was sure to follow such excesses; and Fortune
thereupon turned her back upon the Moslems. Near the River Owar6 the two great
hosts of the two languages and the two creeds were set in array against each other.
The hearts of Abderrahman, his captains, and his men, were filled with wrath and pride,
and they were the first to begin the fight. The Moslem horsemen dashed fierce and
frequent forward against the battalions of the Franks, who resisted manfully, and many
fell dead on either side, until the going down of the sun. Night parted the two armies; but
in the gray of the morning the Moslems returned to the battle. Their cavaliers had soon
hewn their way into the centre of the Christian host. But many of the Moslems were
fearful for the safety of the spoil which they had stored in their tents, and a false cry
arose in their ranks that some of the enemy were plundering the camp; whereupon
several squadrons of the Moslem horsemen rode off to protect their tents. But it seemed
as if they fled; and all the host was troubled. And while Abderrahman strove to check
their tumult, and to lead them back to battle, the warriors of the Franks came around
him, and he was pierced through with many spears, so that he died. Then all the host
fled before the enemy, and many died in the fight. This deadly defeat of the Moslems,
and the loss of the great leader and good cavalier Abderrahman, took place in the
hundred and fifteenth year. From Edward Creasy, The Fifteen Decisive Battles of the
World: From Marathon to Waterloo (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1862), pp. 177â€“178.
1Abderrahman: Abd-ar-Rahman, the Muslim governor of CÃ³rdoba. 2count: Count Odo
of Aquitaine, also known as Duke Odo. 3cimeters: Scimitars; curved swords used by the
Muslim forces. 4king Caldus: Charles Martel, mayor of the Palace of Austrasia, a
powerful statesman and military leader who basically ruled the territory of Francia from
718 to 741 C.E. 5114th year: This refers to 114 years after the hijra, or the migration of
the Muslim community from Mecca to Medina in 622 C.E. 6River Owar: Possibly the
Get Professional Assignment Help Cheaply
Are you busy and do not have time to handle your assignment? Are you scared that your paper will not make the grade? Do you have responsibilities that may hinder you from turning in your assignment on time? Are you tired and can barely handle your assignment? Are your grades inconsistent?
Whichever your reason is, it is valid! You can get professional academic help from our service at affordable rates. We have a team of professional academic writers who can handle all your assignments.
Why Choose Our Academic Writing Service?
- Plagiarism free papers
- Timely delivery
- Any deadline
- Skilled, Experienced Native English Writers
- Subject-relevant academic writer
- Adherence to paper instructions
- Ability to tackle bulk assignments
- Reasonable prices
- 24/7 Customer Support
- Get superb grades consistently
Online Academic Help With Different Subjects
Students barely have time to read. We got you! Have your literature essay or book review written without having the hassle of reading the book. You can get your literature paper custom-written for you by our literature specialists.
Do you struggle with finance? No need to torture yourself if finance is not your cup of tea. You can order your finance paper from our academic writing service and get 100% original work from competent finance experts.
While psychology may be an interesting subject, you may lack sufficient time to handle your assignments. Don’t despair; by using our academic writing service, you can be assured of perfect grades. Moreover, your grades will be consistent.
Engineering is quite a demanding subject. Students face a lot of pressure and barely have enough time to do what they love to do. Our academic writing service got you covered! Our engineering specialists follow the paper instructions and ensure timely delivery of the paper.
In the nursing course, you may have difficulties with literature reviews, annotated bibliographies, critical essays, and other assignments. Our nursing assignment writers will offer you professional nursing paper help at low prices.
Truth be told, sociology papers can be quite exhausting. Our academic writing service relieves you of fatigue, pressure, and stress. You can relax and have peace of mind as our academic writers handle your sociology assignment.
We take pride in having some of the best business writers in the industry. Our business writers have a lot of experience in the field. They are reliable, and you can be assured of a high-grade paper. They are able to handle business papers of any subject, length, deadline, and difficulty!
We boast of having some of the most experienced statistics experts in the industry. Our statistics experts have diverse skills, expertise, and knowledge to handle any kind of assignment. They have access to all kinds of software to get your assignment done.
Writing a law essay may prove to be an insurmountable obstacle, especially when you need to know the peculiarities of the legislative framework. Take advantage of our top-notch law specialists and get superb grades and 100% satisfaction.
What discipline/subjects do you deal in?
We have highlighted some of the most popular subjects we handle above. Those are just a tip of the iceberg. We deal in all academic disciplines since our writers are as diverse. They have been drawn from across all disciplines, and orders are assigned to those writers believed to be the best in the field. In a nutshell, there is no task we cannot handle; all you need to do is place your order with us. As long as your instructions are clear, just trust we shall deliver irrespective of the discipline.
Are your writers competent enough to handle my paper?
Our essay writers are graduates with bachelor's, masters, Ph.D., and doctorate degrees in various subjects. The minimum requirement to be an essay writer with our essay writing service is to have a college degree. All our academic writers have a minimum of two years of academic writing. We have a stringent recruitment process to ensure that we get only the most competent essay writers in the industry. We also ensure that the writers are handsomely compensated for their value. The majority of our writers are native English speakers. As such, the fluency of language and grammar is impeccable.
What if I don’t like the paper?
There is a very low likelihood that you won’t like the paper.
- When assigning your order, we match the paper’s discipline with the writer’s field/specialization. Since all our writers are graduates, we match the paper’s subject with the field the writer studied. For instance, if it’s a nursing paper, only a nursing graduate and writer will handle it. Furthermore, all our writers have academic writing experience and top-notch research skills.
- We have a quality assurance that reviews the paper before it gets to you. As such, we ensure that you get a paper that meets the required standard and will most definitely make the grade.
In the event that you don’t like your paper:
- The writer will revise the paper up to your pleasing. You have unlimited revisions. You simply need to highlight what specifically you don’t like about the paper, and the writer will make the amendments. The paper will be revised until you are satisfied. Revisions are free of charge
- We will have a different writer write the paper from scratch.
- Last resort, if the above does not work, we will refund your money.
Will the professor find out I didn’t write the paper myself?
Not at all. All papers are written from scratch. There is no way your tutor or instructor will realize that you did not write the paper yourself. In fact, we recommend using our assignment help services for consistent results.
What if the paper is plagiarized?
We check all papers for plagiarism before we submit them. We use powerful plagiarism checking software such as SafeAssign, LopesWrite, and Turnitin. We also upload the plagiarism report so that you can review it. We understand that plagiarism is academic suicide. We would not take the risk of submitting plagiarized work and jeopardize your academic journey. Furthermore, we do not sell or use prewritten papers, and each paper is written from scratch.
When will I get my paper?
You determine when you get the paper by setting the deadline when placing the order. All papers are delivered within the deadline. We are well aware that we operate in a time-sensitive industry. As such, we have laid out strategies to ensure that the client receives the paper on time and they never miss the deadline. We understand that papers that are submitted late have some points deducted. We do not want you to miss any points due to late submission. We work on beating deadlines by huge margins in order to ensure that you have ample time to review the paper before you submit it.
Will anyone find out that I used your services?
We have a privacy and confidentiality policy that guides our work. We NEVER share any customer information with third parties. Noone will ever know that you used our assignment help services. It’s only between you and us. We are bound by our policies to protect the customer’s identity and information. All your information, such as your names, phone number, email, order information, and so on, are protected. We have robust security systems that ensure that your data is protected. Hacking our systems is close to impossible, and it has never happened.
How our Assignment Help Service Works
1. Place an order
You fill all the paper instructions in the order form. Make sure you include all the helpful materials so that our academic writers can deliver the perfect paper. It will also help to eliminate unnecessary revisions.
2. Pay for the order
Proceed to pay for the paper so that it can be assigned to one of our expert academic writers. The paper subject is matched with the writer’s area of specialization.
3. Track the progress
You communicate with the writer and know about the progress of the paper. The client can ask the writer for drafts of the paper. The client can upload extra material and include additional instructions from the lecturer. Receive a paper.
4. Download the paper
The paper is sent to your email and uploaded to your personal account. You also get a plagiarism report attached to your paper.
PLACE THIS ORDER OR A SIMILAR ORDER WITH US TODAY AND GET A PERFECT SCORE!!!